Keuka Lake out of Branchport (Keuka Lake State Park) 3/24
Got out here with Mark I. for a full day, getting underway just after 9 am. We had a chilly morning and the air temperatures never quite got much above 43 or 44 degrees on the day. The water level has risen considerably since last week. Water temperatures are hovering around 39.
Our target was lake trout on the fly. Conditions changed throughout the day and I tried to adjust as best as I could. We started with fly-fishing without any sign of fish. First fish of the day was a very chunky 19″+ smallmouth bass that hit a tube jig that Mark was fishing while I worked on his fly setup. After that we wound up doing a bit of vertical jigging until I had what we wanted for fly-fishing.
The “deep” fishing (actually 80′ to maybe 110′) on the Penn Yan arm was very good. A lot of lake trout were around. Mark had no trouble nabbing a couple nice fish in short order. He then hooked a real solid! I wound up slipping the net under a 27.5″ Keuka laker! We let that fish go so it could hopefully make someone else’s day and also eat a few of the abundant young fish in here.
We finally got going on the fly-gear again towards the end of the day. Mark wound up getting hit good after maybe 30 minutes. As he fought his fish, another showed up near it. We landed and released Mark’s 24″ beauty and continued fishing without any more definite bites. On the day, some of the fish Mark landed spit up some perch fry and young perch (“fingerlings.”) I filleted 4 fish for Mark and none had anything of substance in their stomachs.
It was a good, productive day and worth the drive. I aim to continue patterning lake trout here on the fly throughout this spring when I get the chance. Next week remains open for trips apart from Thursday as of this writing. Wednesdays in May also just opened up!